There’s never a wrong time to celebrate a fun hobby. September is the final month of the National Bike Challenge, where Americans across the country promise to bike as much as possible.
Cycling is healthy, fun and relaxing. It isn’t hard to start cycling. All you need is a bike, a pair of legs and a road. If you want to start cycling, here are some things to consider.
Bike to school/work
A person’s average commute differs from person to person. Take an extra look at your commute. It may be shorter than you expect. For those with shorter commutes, consider replacing the car with a bike ride.
It’s a big change, so get everything in order before you do this. Schedule out your expected transit time, ensure you can carry all necessary work materials, always wear proper safety equipment and pack plenty of water. Remember to pack a change of clothes. You wouldn’t want to spend all day working in used exercise wear.
Sept. 22 is Bike There Day, so join fellow bikers in biking around.
Learn Knoxville’s bike routes
Biking in Knoxville is harder for some than others. What makes it easier is knowing the proper routes. It’s a lot harder to cycle in areas without bike lanes, increasing transit time and harming your schedule.
Fortunately, Knoxville is home to many bike lanes, signed bike routes and greenways. A beginner may not know where these are. If this applies to you, there are resources to get you started.
I Bike KNX, an organization that promotes cycling, provides numerous resources. This includes a map of bicycle lanes, repaire stations and other facilities in Knoxville, advise on commuting, lists of bicycle shops and more.
Support bike-friendly initiatives
If you enjoy biking, you may want to encourage others to bike. In this case, you can help to make biking easier by supporting bike-friendly initiatives. These are policies and organizations that support bike-friendly infrastructure — i.e. bike-lanes, repair stations and rentals.
Knoxville features multiple organizations that promote cycling. These include Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, Bike Walk Knoxville, KnoxVelo, Kickstand, Knox Bike Racing and more. Check out I Bike KNX and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization for more info.
Use a popular cycling trail
You may not enjoy cycling around the city. In that case, you may prefer dedicated bike trails.
There’s nothing like cycling on a trail designed for just that purpose. Fortunately, Knoxville has plenty. Some popular trails include the Bearden Village Greenway, Cavet Stations Greenway, the Eureka Trails and the James White Greenway. Ijams Nature Center also hosts multiple cycle trails. They also offer bike rentals, useful for anyone who doesn’t wish to buy expensive equipment.
There are many ways to start cycling, and many places to practice. With the Bike Month in the mix, it’s the perfect time to get going.